National Recovery Plan for the Murray Cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii)

Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment

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Summary

The Murray Cod is an iconic species within the Murray-Darling Basin and has significant economic, cultural, recreational and environmental values for many Australians. The species, which is a top order aquatic predator, has suffered a substantial decline in abundance sine European settlement, particularly in the last 70 years. Reasons for decline include habitat loss and degradation, barriers to fish passage, flow regulation, cold water releases and fishing (legal and illegal). The Murray Cod is listed as Vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

This Recovery Plan is the first national plan prepared for this species. The long-term objective of recovery is to have self-sustaining populations managed for conservation, fishing and culture. The range of actions outlined in this plan address current knowledge gaps concerning population ecology and habitat requirements, improved management of riparian and instream environments, and sustainable management of recreational fishing. Effective communication, engagement and liaison between the range of national, state and regional management agencies, the Aboriginal community and interest groups including recreational anglers and conservation groups is essential for the successful implementation of the recovery plan.